I'm Putting My Dog Down This Week

  • in_this_corne...

    Posts: 704

    Aug 28, 2011 1:40 PM GMT
    I have 2 Weimeraners - One is 12 and the other is almost 10. The 12 year old was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October 2009 (said he might live 6 months - here we are almost 2 years later). He's been suffering from seizures since then and they've gotten increasingly worse. The seizures used to be a month or more apart, but this past week he's had 2.

    Long story short, my vet (whom I trust implicitly) and my ex (we bought him together 12 years ago) all agree it's time and that we want to proactively euthanize him and not wait until we have no choice. He's getting weaker - his back legs fall out from under him at times and he's showing slight signs of dementia.

    I am just torn up about it. He's scheduled to be put down at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31. It's strange to have a date and time to it. It's like an hourglass running out of sand.

    Every morning I wake up and break down and it's getting worse by the day. He's been the best, most loyal companion and I'm going to miss him with all my heart. This weekend and the next few days are all about him - Denver. I'll upload a picture of him to my profile.

    As soon as my ex gets here we are taking him to the beach and one of his favorite parks. Tuesday night we're making a big steak dinner for him.

    On one hand I'm thankful we have the opportunity to celebrate his life with him, but on the other it's a severe emotional pounding. I know we are doing the right thing.

    I just needed to vent. I knew this day was coming and as much as I've tried to prepare for it emotionally, the reality of this appointment has ripped the wound open. I think I'll be OK once it's done, but I don't know how I'm going to get through Wednesday morning. I can't even think about it.
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    Aug 28, 2011 1:48 PM GMT
    I can sympathsize with your feelings and hope you fare okay afterwards. Dogs are really special animals and truly deserve a special place in heaven. Blessings be with you!
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    Aug 28, 2011 1:59 PM GMT
    I'm so sorry to hear you're having to go through this. It's hard enough when a pet dies naturally, but there is always some guilt that's associated with having to make that decision to end their life yourself. Even though you're doing it with the best of intentions, be conscious of the fact that guilt will try to rear it's ugly head and make you feel even worse. Don't allow that.

    As someone who has rescued dogs my entire life, I have been through this many times and i can tell you there isn't much anyone can say or do to make you feel much better. And considering both of my dogs are 14 years old, I'm dreading that day too. The most help I can offer you is this...

    Remember that most dogs are homeless, neglected, abused or will die unloved in a filthy shelter or on the street. You have made sure these two dogs haven't had to endure that fate. As hard as it is, rest assured that it's better for a dog to live a happy 12 years than to live 20 years abused or neglected. You've made your dogs feel happy and loved and that's really all we can ever do. So while you're crying your eyes out on Wednesday, take the time to pat yourself on the back for bringing happiness to this little creature. We'll all be think of you on Wednesday.
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    Aug 28, 2011 2:10 PM GMT


    This happened to Willis, our Cairn terrier when he was 12 . We used prednisone which shrunk the tumour and gave him strength and as a result, another year of life. He had a couple of seizures a week and we cuddled him through them. Our thinking was that the seizures were only a few minutes. The rest of the time he was a happy little camper so we weighed the amount of happy time against the amount of bad time and the happy (feeling well) time so far outweighed the bad we kept him going.

    For us, when the time came, it felt better to have him pass on at home than at a vet's, so we had the vet come to the house. In this way he passed while at his favourite place, home, and surrounded by the smells of home and the comforts of home and those he loved.

    When my sister's dog's time came, they took him out for a ride, his favourite thing to do. They had the vet come out to the truck and administer euthanasia there in the front seat.

    I know it sounds a little odd, but it made Bill and I and my sister feel empowered that we were able to do something for our pets that would make a difference, though small. It also made us feel better about doing what had to be done.

    Lots of hugs for you!

    -Doug
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    Aug 28, 2011 2:34 PM GMT
    Whew. Your post made me cry! From one dog owner and animal lover to another.... I'm so sorry about this. Someone once said that the only flaw that dogs have is that they don't live nearly long enough. I can't think of many truer statements.

    12 years flies by and you can only wish for a lifetime more.... but take comfort in the memories, and remember that you are showing the ultimate of your love for him by not letting him suffer excessively. You are letting go, despite how terribly hard it is to do so.

    I took care of my 12 year old Dachshund when he had kidney failure in 2006. He only lasted about a month after he was diagnosed, but I did everything I could to make him more comfortable in his last weeks. I feel like that was the only way that I could ever repay him for the years of love he gave to me and my family. Even though he was a feisty little thing icon_smile.gif

    There's a song that I know... that describes how I felt when I lost my dog. And describes my feeling of what it would be like if I lost my current one....

    "You're with me 'til the bitter end
    What we had transcends this experience
    Too painful to talk about
    So I'll hold it in
    Til my heart can mend
    And be brave enough to love again

    A place in time,
    Still belongs to us,
    Stays preserved in my mind,
    In the memories there is solace...."

    All the best to you. I'm so sorry.
  • jock_1

    Posts: 1491

    Aug 28, 2011 2:39 PM GMT
    As hard as it is, its time for him to go and you realize that. You know he will be in a better place. I cant think of any better way to spend your last moments with him than what you are doing for him. Take pictures or videos and always remember him and know he will be waiting for you.
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    Aug 28, 2011 2:45 PM GMT
    That is so sad and I know what your going through. We had a cat, Jacob that we went through the same thing with and he was everything to me.
    When the day came I had to tell myself that it wasnt him anymore. I can't explain it but it got me through.
    You are doing the right thing And know that you can feel love and compassion which is a blessing.
    It may be the last thing on your mind but a new companion for the other guy maybe a good idea, cause he will be looking and will need the distraction.
    Best of luck and my thoughts are with you.
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    Aug 28, 2011 2:55 PM GMT
    I'm sorry to hear such news. I'm sure Denver loves you with all his heart for being such a good caregiver.

    You have my condolences.
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    Aug 28, 2011 2:56 PM GMT
    I took a look at your profile so I could see Denver. I'm sorry for your loss. Having lost pets over the years, I can't say it's ever easy. All I can say is that doing the right thing is usually hard and it sounds like you're making the best decision for him.

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    Aug 28, 2011 3:01 PM GMT
    Threads like this always make me tear up.

    I can't even imagine having to do this. I don't know that I could. I think about the cat who's been my little buddy for 15 years and I can't think about life without him. People who are not animal lovers will never understand how much our pets are a part of our lives.

    Condolences. icon_sad.gif
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    Aug 28, 2011 3:05 PM GMT
    So Sorry man, I had a saint bernard who lived to be about 5 and he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We caught it late and there was nothing we could do other than monitor his quality of life. I remember waking up one morning and seeing him lying on the ground panting and droopy faced (more so than usual icon_smile.gif) and he fell twice when trying to stand up to walk toward me. I knew right then that we were going to have to put him down that afternoon.

    The reason why I'm telling you this is that I was actually sadder in the last few days of his life because I was watching him wither away. You, and he will both have some relief once he is put down. Wish you both the best of luck, and stay strong!

    And hey, believe it or not I actually dreamt last night that he was still alive and I nearly cried of happiness when I woke up. He'll always be with you
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    Aug 28, 2011 3:09 PM GMT
    Very sorry for what you are going through. Having gone through this, I can tell you it never gets easier, not should it. You should take some comfort knowing the timing was based on what was best for your buddy, not your convenience, and that you gave him a great life.

    Mine have all been male Dobermans. After I lost my first one, I remember thinking how unfair it is that they don't live as long as us, given their wonderful qualities and that they are so deserving. It was several years before I got another. One time we were walking by a yard where I used to play with my first one. This will come across as pretty obvious, but it helped me. I thought about my first one thinking how wonderful it would be if he were still alive. Then it hit me. I realized that as much as I wanted that, if he were alive I would never have known my current dog at the time. It helped me realize that things happen for a reason, that there are cycles that you just have to accept.

    When my second one passed on, I thought that would be my last buddy, as I wanted to travel more. That lasted 2 weeks before I got another from the same rescue as the second one. Your situation with 2 dogs might be different, but for me the new one helped take the focus away from what was past and concentrate on what is here and now.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Aug 28, 2011 3:11 PM GMT
    So sorry to hear what you`re going through with your dog.As a pet owner who`s had to go through this,I know how you must be feeling.
    A few years ago I had to euthanize my cat,Shimmy,as she had deteriorated so badly with kidney failure.She`d been such a fighter from the word go(the runt,but the lone survivor when her mother killed the rest of the litter,many illnesses and complications following on from that,unpredictable at times,but affectionate as well),but the disease was too much for her and it was a kindness to relieve her of this suffering.For at least two days I was out of myself with grief.
    About the same time my sister had to euthanize her German Shepherd,Oscar,due to worsening epilepsy and hip bone problems,so it was difficult time all round.
    She`s buried in my garden with a small memorial and never forgotten as she was such an eccentric,feisty little creature.
    Try to remember the years you had with Denver and all the pleasure he gave you and everyone around him.
    In time you will find another dog and move on,but never forgetting him.I know this sounds impossible,but you will because you love animals .
    The fact you are so cut up about his dying means you are the right guy to keep pets and will always do your best for them.
    Best wishes.
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    Aug 28, 2011 3:15 PM GMT
    S60turbo said
    It may be the last thing on your mind but a new companion for the other guy maybe a good idea, cause he will be looking and will need the distraction.


    So glad you brought this up, though I respectfully disagree with the idea of finding a successor dog for the sake of the survivor - at least short-term. Animals mourn just as people do. It's not "looking...and need[ing] the distraction."

    Two rescued kittens, sister and brother, were brought to live with me as an early Christmas surprise by a friend. They got into all the typical kitten mischief, and had the bond between siblings which exists in most creatures. After just over three months the brother cat disappeared forever. icon_sad.gif His sister was beside herself for about a day and a half, then suddenly somehow intuited that he would never be with us again. She barely touched food for weeks, and would stay in one place while wailing with grief. I'd gently pet her and hope that my soothing tone of voice made up for her not understanding my words. Then one evening she literally snapped out of it, giving a loud groan after a wail as if to say, "Enough of this. Time to move on." Off she bounded into another room to play. It would've been heartless of me to go to a shelter to adopt a "replacement" as soon as it was clear that the brother cat was gone for good.

    OP, thanks for reading this and remembering to include the surviving canine in the grief process. The same as my cat did, he will probably know by instinct that his companion has passed on. Allow him to sniff the remains (natural or cremated) so he knows that his buddy did die but not unknown and alone. Then let him make the decision as to whether to howl out his bereavement in private or howl with you.
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    Aug 28, 2011 3:15 PM GMT
    I am so sorry to hear about your situation. It's not easy making the decision to euthanize a beloved pet. Not too long ago in April I was forced to euthanize my cat and it took quite a toll on me as he was only 2 and I had only had him for about a year and a half.

    Believe me sometimes you feel like it's wrong but looking back I know it's the best thing I could have done for him. If anything look more at the fact that you've had 12 long, happy full years with Denver. I'd give anything to at least have given my cat a longer life. But you are giving Denver a great life and saving him a lot of pain with his diseases. You are being extremely unselfish which is very admirable.

    I will be thinking of you two on Wednesday you have my word.
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    Aug 28, 2011 3:16 PM GMT
    I had to put my "girlfriend" Allie down in June after a 13 year stint. She had seizures and I could not watch her suffer. She is in a better place and I miss her so much. She rode out 2 hurricanes with me at my bedside ( Katrina and Gustav). Major prayers out to you buddy. I know what you are going through.icon_sad.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 28, 2011 3:20 PM GMT
    Very sorry to hear it.. I absolutely concur in your decision making process.

    I had the unfortunate decision a few years ago to put down my prized registered quarter horse gelding I got as a colt for my 11th birthday.
    I grew up with that horse... I taught horsemanship with him and showed him.. but he had a genetic defect with his legs and the decision was made quickly. Just know your decision is the best for him.

    Celebrate his life and what he has meant to you. That will never, I mean never... go away!

    Thoughts with you this week....

  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 28, 2011 3:24 PM GMT
    My deepest sympathies go to you and your pup
    I can tell you that I've been thru it as well .... but that's not going to make this any easier for you

    But what I will tell you is that you are being a good and loving caregiver to an animal that depends on you to do the right thing
    Having this tumor and the seizures is debilitating and is making his life painful and difficult for him
    To do anything else but end is pain would be selfish on your part
    Wishing you all the strength to get thru this
    .... but you are doing the right thing
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    Aug 28, 2011 3:26 PM GMT
    sorry about this I know the feeling my little dog had too be put down in October
    of 2009 he suffered from joint and bone disease for over a year. he was 10 years only and in those 10 years he never spent a night without me. after having it done they wrapped him in baby blue paper and I took him to my mothers farm and buried hm near a flower garden with all of his toys. I cried for months after that day.
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    Aug 28, 2011 3:29 PM GMT
    ZbmwM5 saidWhew. Your post made me cry! From one dog owner and animal lover to another.... I'm so sorry about this. Someone once said that the only flaw that dogs have is that they don't live nearly long enough. I can't think of many truer statements.

    +!
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    Aug 28, 2011 3:42 PM GMT
    MuslNorganLikr said
    S60turbo said
    It may be the last thing on your mind but a new companion for the other guy maybe a good idea, cause he will be looking and will need the distraction.


    So glad you brought this up, though I respectfully disagree with the idea of finding a successor dog for the sake of the survivor - at least short-term. Animals mourn just as people do. It's not "looking...and need[ing] the distraction."

    Two rescued kittens, sister and brother, were brought to live with me as an early Christmas surprise by a friend. They got into all the typical kitten mischief, and had the bond between siblings which exists in most creatures. After just over three months the brother cat disappeared forever. icon_sad.gif His sister was beside herself for about a day and a half, then suddenly somehow intuited that he would never be with us again. She barely touched food for weeks, and would stay in one place while wailing with grief. I'd gently pet her and hope that my soothing tone of voice made up for her not understanding my words. Then one evening she literally snapped out of it, giving a loud groan after a wail as if to say, "Enough of this. Time to move on." Off she bounded into another room to play. It would've been heartless of me to go to a shelter to adopt a "replacement" as soon as it was clear that the brother cat was gone for good.

    Long story short we had 3 cats and had to have 2 put down in one year at the Ages of 19 and 23. Jasper the survivor was so accustomed to living with the pack that he stopped eating. It wasn't until we got Charlie from the humane society that he snapped out of it and started playing with the new kitten.
    Didn't mean any disrespect. Sometimes humanes need distraction to help them over hurdles in life aswel.

    OP, thanks for reading this and remembering to include the surviving canine in the grief process. The same as my cat did, he will probably know by instinct that his companion has passed on. Allow him to sniff the remains (natural or cremated) so he knows that his buddy did die but not unknown and alone. Then let him make the decision as to whether to howl out his bereavement in private or howl with you.
  • shred_thegnar

    Posts: 157

    Aug 28, 2011 3:44 PM GMT
    my condolences as well, great that you will be by its side.

    lost my pup four years ago, hit by a car during a stormy night, biggest regret of my life was not being there when the vets put her down, however she was in good hands of a passing motorist who brought her to the vet.
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    Aug 28, 2011 3:53 PM GMT
    MuslNorganLikr said... Animals mourn just as people do....

    Quite true. My neighbors had a female dachshund approx 15 years old and a younger male golden lab. While the family was away during the day, the dachshund passed away in the backyard. When they returned home, they found the lab sitting by the dachshund's remains. For several weeks, the lab would not eat well and sleep well, and was continually crying. In the past when my dog and I would walk by their house, if the lab was in the yard he would bark and run up to the fence. This time, even when I called to him, he was pacing, not responding and holding his head down. They had him on prozac for a couple of months. He finally recovered.
  • exoticfruit

    Posts: 5

    Aug 28, 2011 4:02 PM GMT
    It's a really tough thing to go through. We had to put my 11 year old golden retriever down in May. She had a number of complications--including a stomach infection that prevented her even from drinking water at the end. It was very hard watching her turn away from food, even harder seeing her reject water. Even when we did manage to offer her water that she would drink, she couldn't keep it down for more than a few hours. That's when we knew she had to be put down.

    Be thankful that your dog can still appreciate the pleasures of life in his final days. It's very sad, but you're making the right decision. I feel for you!
  • tallchris

    Posts: 121

    Aug 28, 2011 4:07 PM GMT
    I don't know if this might help you - maybe. My cat contracted terminal leukemia and I was able to prolong his life (he was not old) for about a year with medication. But I did that for too long. I could not bear to lose him. but I realised too late I was being selfish as he was suffering. I should have put him down earlier. The loss I felt would not have been less. I would just have had to be brave a bit sooner.

    I'm sure from what you say that you are doing the right thing. It's hard, but it's kind. Be a brave boy. And have a good cry.